12th January

A Quiet Place

When you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6: 6

Grant me, sweet Christ, the grace to find, Son of the Living God
A small hut in a lonesome spot
To make it my abode.

A little pool but very clear, to stand beside the place
Where every sin is washed away
By sanctifying grace.

A pleasant woodland all about, to shield it from the wind
And make a home for singing birds
before it and behind.

A southern aspect for the heat, a stream along its foot
A smooth green lawn with rich topsoil
propitious to all fruit.

My choice of those to live with me and pray to God as well;
Quiet friends of humble mind
Their number I shall tell.

A lovely church, a home for God, bedecked with linen fine,
Where o’er the whitened Gospel page
The Gospel candles shine.

A little house where all may dwell, and body’s care be sought,
Where none shows lust or arrogance,
None thinks an evil thought.

And all I ask for housekeeping
I get and pay no fees,
Leeks from the garden, poultry, game,
Salmon, fruit and bees.

My share of clothing and of food from the King of fairest face,
And I to sit at times alone
And pray in every place.
Abbot Manteith, The Hermit’s Prayer, 6th century.

God of the secret, quiet place, I hide myself in you.